Take Five…Or More – Discover Meditation

bigstockphoto_man_meditation_1203669By JoElle Martin

When I first decided to give meditation a try, I thought I had a pretty good idea what it would be about. After all, I am natural born daydreamer and quite proficient at letting my mind wander. Add sitting in full lotus, some mantra chanting, close my eyes and that’s it, right?

Boy was I wrong!

My biggest surprise was to learn that meditating isn’t just about letting the mind wander, such as in daydreaming, but quite the opposite. It is about paying attention, being mindful, aware, and focusing.

My introduction to meditation was through my yoga classes. But I found that part of yoga so beneficial that I began to practice it alone as well.

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years many different cultures and religions. Like yoga, it gained popularity in the United States during the 1960s counterculture movement.

Not only is meditating mentally beneficial, but it also benefits emotionally, spiritually, and physically. You will become more aware of yourself, others, and your surroundings. You learn to notice each moment and value it. You will learn to relax and let go of stress. You will better understand yourself.

Though generally performed while sitting quietly – and yes, full lotus or half lotus are good poses, but any comfortable position is fine – meditation is an active practice.

Once you find a comfortable position, make sure your posture is good. A straight back helps keep the energy flow through your body.

* Focus your attention inward listen to your inner thoughts and your emotions.  Observe them and acknowledge them. You don’t need to block them or judge them.

* Become aware of your breathing each inhale brings energy inward and each exhale releases energy. Take deep cleansing breaths. Breathe through your nostrils. Focus and pay attention to the energy flow with each breath and release. Recognize the energy that is within you and surrounding you. All living matter is made up of energy. Learn to use it.

* Find your mind and body connection – you’ve probably heard of the Hindu chakras, these are energy channels in the body. The seven main chakras run along the body’s spine to the head. They are the base of the spine, lower abdomen, the navel, middle of the chest, throat, forehead, and the top of the head.  As you breathe, try to clear your mind and focus on each chakra starting from the top of the head and working your way down. Take as many minutes as you need to give each chakra your full attention. Become aware of your body.

You can also relax your body. This may work better lying down. Close your eyes and become mindful of your breathing. Become aware of where your body touches the surface you’re lying on. Starting at your feet, focus on them. Next, contract and release the muscles to that part of the body. Move up to the lower legs, then upper legs, buttocks, stomach, hands, lower arms, etc. repeating the awareness, contracting, and releasing of muscles as you move up your body. When you finish, allow your body to melt into the surface beneath. Remain in the relaxed state for as many minutes as you like.

Throughout the day you can find other opportunities for meditation. You can meditate while working in your yard, walking, doing your hobbies, working, eating, etc. It’s all a matter of being mindful of your activity, be aware of the moment you are in, how it makes you feel, and how it connects you to the energy around you.

So, give your mind and body a break. Recharge your energy. And discover a more enjoyable life.

6 comments for “Take Five…Or More – Discover Meditation

  1. January 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Nicely written, JoElle! Very informative and descriptive. So many people have trouble figuring out what they are supposed to be doing when first beginning to meditate and I think your writing here would probably be a great help them!
    .-= Lyon Mercaeant´s last blog ..She Went to the Dentist… =-.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Beautifully written!!! Gardening+Meditation= Pure Bliss :).
    .-= Carolina Gonzalez´s last blog ..Healing Spells =-.

  3. January 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

    “Moving Meditations” such as those you mentioned while gardening are probably my most favorite. And yes Ms. Gonzalez….pure bliss : )
    .-= inannasstar´s last blog ..Fat Ass Fridays =-.

  4. January 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    This is something I’ve been starting to work on for the past couple of weeks. It has been moving up and down successful at times and a failure at others. Nicely written.
    .-= Randilin´s last blog ..Pagan Blogger’s Network – Update =-.

  5. June 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I agree with you, do this meditation in a simple way to live the better life. I took a long time until I found my way into the meditation, but it’s still worth it of course. It’s so simple that even I did once I meditate on a train. Can you believe it? :)bili

  6. Grobeg
    January 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    It is funny that it is so obvious. Having meditated naturally for so long, I never really thought about it until I tried to discuss meditation with folks that did not understand it.
    First off, you cannot empty the mind, that is impossible. The would be a box of crayons that is empty…
    The mind is already full.
    The only thing you can do is “focus” on just one crayon.
    Basically you fill your mind with a train of thought, that pushes everything else to the side.
    Choosing something deeply meaningful simply helps to make the time more peaceful.
    The energy you experience is generic, as in the same, regardless of whence it comes. It does not flavor until you overlay it with your perception.
    So think of something energetic, and the energy will fil that mold,
    Seek a waterfront, with the water gently lapping at the shore, while quiet brids call through the cool breeze, and well, a totally different feel to the energy.
    How you use it is up to you.
    And practice makes it easier and easier.
    I can meditate in a busy Airport with the loudspeaker blareing…
    And Lotus? Please that is for the flexible folks that want to look cool.
    If you want reality to see you and respond to you, you have to leave the trappings of coolness somewhere else while you converse with it.
    Just my experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *